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L2 Predictions > Jun 18th

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Colchester vs Exeter

The League Two Play-Off Semi-Final First Legs take place tonight with the first game coming up at 5:15pm BST when Colchester host Exeter at the Colchester Community Stadium. These two sides saw their involvement in the play-offs confirmed with the points per game ruling agreed by Football League clubs earlier during the lockdown. Can either side earn an advantage heading into the second leg?

Colchester finished in 6th placed with a 0.03 points per game advantage over the closest rivals outside the play-offs. It was a harsh rule for those that missed out but can also be considered the fairest way to end the season given the current league placings and the potential financial ramifications for the teams if they were forced to play their remaining games behind closed doors. Head coach John McGreal will be delighted that his team has gone one better than last season by making the play-offs this season. Inconsistent form to end their season back in March is a concern especially with the team having lost their last two league games at home before the suspension.

Exeter will be desperate to earn promotion through the play-offs after local rivals Plymouth secured their place in League One next season with automatic promotion. Matt Taylor has earned the plaudits this season for taking the Grecians into the play-offs with relative ease. How will they feel about being denied the chance to seal their promotion automatically? Will it hold them back? The team ended their campaign before the break with a poor run of four winless league games. Interestingly, both sides have scored in 8 of the last 9 matches that Exeter have played.

This game certainly has a feeling of a draw written all over it. These two teams have drawn 3 of their last 4 encounters and with neither side brimming with confidence or match sharpness it could be a very stale game. I'm not sure either team will be overly disappointed with a draw and if I was pushed into backing a correct score then I'd go for a 0-0 or 1-1 I think.

Draw @ 3.20 with BetVictor

BTTS @ 2.00 with Betfair

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Northampton vs Cheltenham

The second match from the League Two Play-Off Semi-Final First Legs is kicking off at 7:45pm BST tonight when Northampton play Cheltenham at the Sixfields Stadium, or the PTS Academy Stadium as it's known for sponsorship reasons this season. The home side will be relieved that they qualified for the play-offs on points per game where as the away side will be licking their wounds after being prevented the chance to battle to the end for an automatic promotion berth.

Northampton have it all to do here with the Cobblers coming into this play-off tie as the lowest ranked team. Keith Curle has transformed Town from relegation battlers into play-off contenders. The team hit a bit of a rocky patch just before the suspension with 5 defeats from their last 7 league games. That run included losing 3 of their previous 4 home league games. One of the more concerning stats is that Northampton only managed 1 win in their 5 league games against their play-off rivals. That included experiencing a draw and a defeat against Cheltenham.

Cheltenham will be extremely disappointed that they were denied the chance to compete for the top three automatic promotion spots when they were only 4 points behind 3rd placed Plymouth with a game in hand. The Robins lost just 6 of their league games all season. Michael Duff's team just couldn't turn more of those 13 draws into wins in order to climb into the top three. The team came into the suspension off the back of 5 wins and 1 draw. It's also interesting to note that only 2 of Cheltenham's 18 away league games saw over 2.5 goals scored this season. They love grinding out those results on the road.

It's always a bit of a lottery trying to work out what will happen in the play-offs. In this case, it just feels like the odds are stacked against Northampton. Cheltenham have been a class act all season and if they had perhaps exercised a little less caution then maybe they'd have gotten promoted automatically. It's all very well and good in hindsight though. The Cobblers were tailing off just before the break and I think it'll take a big turnaround to see them come back and firing to a level that will take the win against the visitors here.

Cheltenham Draw No Bet @ 2.10 with 888Sport

Total Goals Scored Under 2.5 @ 1.62 with Betfair

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